2: By the Dawn's Early Light by Al Steiner the anatomy of the origin of an affair. All they needed was the right setting and the right excuse. It's the prototypical middle-aged male fantasy: getting fit and getting laid.
4: Paddling to My Destiny by SlaterChance This is a story that I wish I had written. It's a conventional love story that has a great foundation and despite my not being an outdoorsman, holds my interest throughout.
6: Carry That Weight by Harddaysknight A well-crafted story in the cheating wife genre with an undetermined ending to cause you to wonder about the final result. HDK always seems to come up with a different turn on what might be an otherwise conventional story.
7: One Woman Man by A.A. Nemo I'm a big fan of A.A. Nemo to begin with, but this story has all the elements I wish I could include in my own efforts. Beautifully written and plotted, it tells the tale of love and loss and love again. It interlocks near the end with another of his wonderful stories and reminds me why I would never miss one when it's posted.
8: A Study in Scarlet by Blue88 Extremely well written and conceived story of a couple in turmoil and not communicating. From start to finish it holds your interest because of the human element. The characters are very well drawn and their motivations, however misguided, are clear. A very fine example of the short story.
9: Ghosts and Shadows by Daniel Q Steele A shorter, more compact version of W3M, but still brilliantly written and executed. Some people can tell stories and some can't. DQS is premier among the former.
10: Two Strikes by Tony Stevens It isn't really about baseball, it's about recovering from a catastrophic event in a man's life, finding a woman who is genuinely in love with him, despite his disability, and making a life for themselves when you wouldn't think that was in the cards.
Extremely well written with fine characterization. Tony's stories never fail to satisfy me.
11: Cecil Corliss, Young Investor by happyhugo This might have been titled "The Amazing Young Life of Cecil Corliss." It's a feel-good story all the way. Cecil is a very nice young man with a strong will to succeed. He goes from a rather loveless existence to one where he finds more than he can handle. We should all be so lucky. There was never a doubt about how this story would turn out, but it was a very fine ride all the same.
12: Dulcie by Tedbiker This is the beginning of the Dulcie series and a must read to make all the other iterations come to life. Ted's best work, in my opinion, although you could argue there are a half-dozen other stories that would rank with this. The tale is familiar. Young girl, down on her luck, finds redemption and love and becomes something that allows her to look in the mirror and see a good person. In this case, the telling of the tale is the difference.
13: Fool's Gold by capecodmercury This story reeks of realism. It almost seems autobiographical. I've read it more than twice and each time I find some satisfaction in the style, pace and emotion that it portrays. It's a damn shame that CapeCodMercury posted only this single story. He is undoubtedly a writer of great skill.
15: Back To Bristol by GaryAPB This is one of the first long stories that I got involved with when I first discovered Stories on Line. I really enjoyed it because it encompassed two of my interests: business and relationships. The protagonist, Chris, is still angry over his wife's leaving him and marrying another after an affair. The story is complex but full of drama. Well worth the time to read it.
I wish Gary was still offering some of his work to the site.
16: Inconstant Nymph by Daghda Jim I accidentally discovered this author when I went looking for a particular story. This wasn't it, but after reading "Some Joke," the continuation of Agena's story, I was hooked by his writing and wanted to see more.
This story is somewhat different than the usual "cheating wife" genre. The hero is morally ambiguous. (or as Jim calls it he's blessed (?) with "situational morality.") I've read most of his stories now and find his characters fascinating. Regrettably, the thirteen stories posted will be the only ones. Jim died in the summer of 2009, the cause of which is detailed in his daughter's submission. It's a shame. He had some interesting ideas about characters and taught me a thing or three about making them more realistic ... more human.